Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's a Wrap! Ah, the Warm Glow of Completion

Pages 5 is done done DONE. What I thought would take just a few days took three weeks!

Sometimes creative projects start off in high gear and then feel like they slow down to a crawl by the end. Or it may just seem that way to me because my patience level and engagement with the work are high initially but begin to wear thin when a piece is difficult to resolve. What I realized in working through all the design options for this piece -- many! -- is that we can reach a point in the process where we sail way past our original concept and start generating a whole new work on top of the current one. I don't always realize this is happening immediately, since I already think in layers, but after I've worked five or six different composition variations on one surface and none of them feels right, there's a sudden jolt of recognition that I've left the current idea and am actually designing new work over the old. Instead of exploring one or two variables, I keep layering more on the surface until a whole new work starts to build over the old one.

While I love the larger letter forms, they need a less active ground, so these will return for Pages 6, where I will use the kind of subtle, shimmering fabrics that Pages 3 has.

Combining the sheer blacks with these sheer yellow-orange shapes will become Pages 7. Again, they will be more dramatic on a less patterned ground.

The secret of creative process -- no effort is EVER wasted. In essence, even though it felt like it took a lot of time and sweat to complete this piece, through the process I've worked out ideas for the next two pieces in this series as well. Let's trust that my positivity will hold water and I'll sail through those as a result of working through so much now!

Another huge project has also finally crossed the finish line! My website redesign is now live: The quieter setting puts the focus on the art images rather than the web page design. It looks better on Mozilla Firefox than Internet Explorer -- if you use that browser, you'll see it as Holly created it.

You may notice that I've removed the workshops and studio pages; the site is more concise and focused on the work. I'm going to honor the teaching commitments I've already made for 2009 but I'm not committing to any new teaching for the next several years. Being in the studio and writing fill all my time right now, although I love teaching and certainly hope to return to it in a few years.

And still another big item that has taken a lot of work has been checked off my to-do list. I've completed and submitted my first grant application and know exactly what to do with the money if they award it to me. If setting intentions can truly draw that grant to me, then I'm a shoe-in for it!

Another new piece is in the stitching stage and moving along at a good clip. Stitching will quite lavishly cover the surface of this piece. In addition, I have two new ground fabrics in process at my studio that hopefully will hopefully grow up to become new Parables pieces. The creative fires are blazing!


  1. I've looked at the website and it is very clean and easy to navigate. I don't like the thumbnails, though, that only show a piece of each artwork. It leaves the impression that you are seeing the entire quilt and some may not bother to click on the picture to see a larger view, suddenly discovering a work that is impressive.

    I've run across this on other websites and wonder if others find it misleading as well.

  2. I have to agree with 'the idaho beauty'.....I love the set out of the new website and its focus on the artwork rather than on the page settings. Very clean and crisp. I found the thumbnails confusing and wondered the same as 'idaho beauty'about them being the 'whole work'. I am not that familiar with negotiating sites.

    Your work is soooo interesting and thoughtful.

    I was fascinated with your comments on how working on the design options for this piece led to a realisation that you were creating new work designs. In my own small way I have realised the same and set up another beginning piece on a design wall. This is my first work like this...I quilt boring utility pieces.

    I see a book in these posts...this design process and the thoughts behind it. I am finding your comments very educational, thoughtful and inspiring, especially when they are combined with the practical examples. The comments about the shimmering fabrics, the busy background and larger images on less patterned background.I see a book as educational, reaching a host more students.

    I could just immerse myself in this piece. Love love that it drapes on the floor ...but I suppose that isn't intentional.

    Good luck with getting the grant.

    Shirley in Oz